Cubs @ Reds: Series Preview – Sept 30-Oct 2; TV & Game Info, Pitching Match-ups, More

I swear it seems like spring training was something like two or three weeks ago. Yet, here we stand, exactly three games away from the end of the regular season. Wow. The Cubs will not win 105 games because, well, they won’t play 162 games. As it turns out Thursday’s game against the Pirates was rained out and ended in a 1-1 tie. Baseball shouldn’t end in ties but, in this case, it was the most practical thing to do. Although, I could argue that the Cubs could benefit from making it up next week, just to stay fresh. I won’t.

The Cubs have dominated the Reds so far this season, posting a 13-3 record against them. They’ll enter this series looking to line up their starting pitching rotation for the playoffs that will begin on Friday, October 7 at Wrigley Field. It looks like Jon Lester will be pitching in game one of the NLDS with Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and, most likely, John Lackey, in that order. It’s going to be fun, but first things first. Time to wrap up what has been an incredible season.

Game times and broadcast info

  • Friday, September 30, 6:10 PM CT on CSN
  • Saturday, October 1, 3:10 PM CT on CSN
  • Sunday, October 2, 2:10 PM CT on WGN

Starting pitchers

Date Pitcher Age T ERA W/L K/BB
9/30 Jake Buchanan 27 R 9.00 0-0
Josh Smith 29 R 4.77 3-2 1.88
10/1 Jon Lester 32 L 2.28 19-4 3.90
Tim Adelman 28 R 3.90 3-4 2.39
10/2 Kyle Hendricks 26 R 1.99 16-8 3.86
Robert Stephenson 23 R 6.27 2-3 1.93

What to watch for

  • The Cubs are cruising into the end of the season. I don’t expect a very high level of intensity nor do I expect to see many starters, at least for the first game. Joe may play the starters a bit more in the second and third games of the series, just to try and keep them fresh. That will be the biggest challenge for Maddon considering the Cubs will have to wait 5 days before the playoffs start once the season ends.
  • Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Dexter Fowler rank 1, 2, & 3 on the team in fWAR over the second half of the season, with Bryant having a sizable lead. Over the last 14 days Chris Coghlan and Dexter Fowler lead. They’ve both been hot, with Coghlan slashing .407/.543/.667 and Fowler slashing .303/.425/.515.
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